NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, october 17, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. Light-Water Reactor Construction

The Korean Herald ("OPPOSITIONIST HINTS AT CHANGE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR IN NORTH," 10/17/00) reported that ROK Representative Kim Deog-ryong of the main opposition Grand National Party claimed on October 16 that the ROK and the US had reached a "secret" agreement to replace one of the two nuclear reactors they are building in the DPRK with a thermal power plant. Kim also said that the agreement includes a plan for direct power provisions from Seoul to Pyongyang. Kim said before the National Assembly's Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee, "The United States demanded a new consortium be set up by the U.S., South Korea and Japan for the provision of heavy oil to the North. At the South's opposition, however, the United States proposed the thermoelectric plant construction, and the two sides made a provisional agreement." Kim based his claim on a classified report, made by ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Jang Jai-ryong and the US envoy on Korean affairs, Charles Kartman, in May. Refuting the allegation, however, ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said, "The proposal was never made officially, and the North only commented about the South's electricity provision prior to the June 15 summit." Other ministry officials also denied Rep. Kim's accusations. An official at the ministry's Office of Planning for Light Water Reactor Project said, "It is total nonsense." The official said that the switch of forms of power plants would cost "too

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2. Albright's Visit to DPRK

Reuters ("U.S. OFFICIALS IN N.KOREA TO PREPARE FOR ALBRIGHT," Seoul, 10/17/00) reported that the US embassy in the ROK said that an advance party of US officials crossed into the DPRK via Panmunjom on Tuesday to prepare for a visit by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The US team, composed of about 40 officials from the US State Department and the US Embassy in Seoul, is headed by Thomas Hubbard, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. Counselor for public relations at the US embassy in Seoul Stephen Rounbes said that the date had not been fixed for Albright's visit, but that it would be soon. much" to consider.

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3. DPRK-ROK Economic Talks

Agence France Presse (NORTH KOREA SUSPENDS ECONOMIC TALKS WITH SOUTH KOREA," Seoul, 10/17/00) reported that an ROK finance and economy ministry official said Tuesday that the DPRK has suspended economic talks with the ROK. The official said, "Through contacts at the border, the North informed us of its decision to delay the second round of economic talks. The North mentioned technical problems but we don't know really why the meeting was delayed." The economic talks were to have been held in Pyongyang from October 18. The two sides were also to exchange a list of candidates for family reunions in early October, but the DPRK has not yet sent its list. It has also delayed answers to the ROK's proposal to launch working-level military talks on relinking a cross-border railway. ROK officials said that the DPRK did not have enough manpower to cope with the hectic series of events between the two sides.

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4. DPRK-Japan Talks

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN AND NORTH KOREA TO RESUME NORMALIZATION TALKS IN BEIJING," Tokyo, 10/17/00) reported that Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa said Tuesday that Japan and the DPRK will hold two days of talks ties at the end of this month in the PRC on establishing diplomatic. Nakagawa said, "The 11th round of Japan-North Korea diplomatic normalization negotiations will take place on October 30 and 31 in Beijing." Nakagawa said special envoy Kojiro Takano will head the Japanese delegation, while his counterpart Jong Thae-hwa will lead the DPRK's.

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5. ROK-PRC Talks

Agence France Presse ("CHINA'S PREMIER IN SEOUL FOR NORTH KOREA TALKS AND ASIA-EUROPE SUMMIT," Seoul, 10/17/00) and the Associated Press ("CHINESE PREMIER ARRIVES IN S. KOREA," Seoul, 10/17/00) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji arrived in the ROK on Tuesday for talks with ROK President Kim Dae-jung and for the third Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Seoul later this week. The talks and the summit of 25 Asian and European leaders will be dominated by discussion of the DPRK and the reconciliation between the two Koreas. ROK officials said that PRC negotiators are pushing tough language over references to weapons of mass destruction in a special declaration to be adopted at the Asia-Europe Meeting on October 20 and 21. The ROK has proposed a phrase on weapons of mass destruction in a declaration for peace on the Korean peninsula, which Kim wants to be the centerpiece of the summit of 25 Asian and European government leaders and heads of state. However, an anonymous ROK official said, "China, however, differed over the wording of the phrase, trying to impose its stance."

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6. PRC Premier's Japan Visit

Agence France Presse ("ZHU TO LEAVE JAPAN WITH POOR REVIEWS," Tokyo, 10/17/00) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji received poor press reviews in Japan Tuesday, the final day of his six-day visit. The issue of Japan's wartime atrocities in China soured an otherwise ground- breaking visit. Responding to Zhu's remarks that there has been no formal apology in writing for the war of aggression, Sankei Shimbun, a noted critic of the PRC, said, "How can they say Japan has never apologized? As long as China regards Japan as its enemy, it is impossible for the two countries to form a true friendship. It is highly questionable whether his visit has succeeded in promoting better relations between China and Japan." Zhu attempted to play down past acrimony during his visit, but the Mainichi Shimbun said his talks on October 13 with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori had failed to turn a page as claimed by Zhu. It said, "It was disappointing that the two leaders failed to create a breakthrough for the animosity felt in both countries. What we have, instead, is a clear reminder about how wide the two countries stand on the issue of wartime history." However, Kono said, "He (Zhu) worked very hard to improve the perception of China among the Japanese people by appearing on a television program and exchanging views with many different people. With the premier's visit, Sino- Japanese relations are heading in the right direction."

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7. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters ("TAIWAN LEADERS IN OVERTURE TO CHINA," Taipei, 10/17/00) reported that Taiwan Premier Chang Chun-hsiung said on Tuesday that the time has come for reconciliation with the PRC. He called for the PRC and Taiwan to avoid criticism, conflict and confrontation as part of efforts to break a 15-month deadlock. Chang said in his first state-of-the- nation address to parliament, "The moment for reconciliation has come. The two sides must replace criticism and invective with rational dialogue." He also called for "negotiations to replace conflict and confrontation, and magnanimity and goodwill to replace antagonism and differences." Chang also renewed Taiwan's offer to resume normalization talks with the PRC without a preset agenda at any place and in any form. He also said Taiwan hoped joint entry with the PRC into the World Trade Organization would serve as "a new bridge" and "a turning point" for rapprochement. On October 16, Chen said that he had not lost heart despite the PRC's refusal to respond to his goodwill and would push for dialogue and exchanges with greater patience and sincerity. Addressing the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations by videoconference, Chen urged the PRC to return to their "1992 spirit" to break the impasse and create a win-win situation. Chen said, "Taiwan is now ready to reopen the door of negotiation at any time."

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8. PRC View of US Election

Agence France Presse ("BUSH WANTS COLD WAR WITH CHINA, CHINA MILITARY EXPERTS SAY," Beijing, 10/17/00) reported that a PRC military think tank weighed in on the US presidential elections Tuesday warning that if Republican candidate George W. Bush wins next month's vote he would undermine the "one China" policy, destabilize the global balance of power and restart the Cold War. Jiang Lingfei and Fu Tao, leading international experts at China's National Defense University said in a joint article in this week's Beijing Review, "Bush Jr.'s position on Washington's China policy is based on the belief that China is the main rival of the United States. He proposes that China is a strategic rival of the United States rather than a strategic partner, and says that a government led by him would treat China with a stern and tough attitude." It also said that if Bush becomes president, the US would "contain" the PRC by enhancing its relationship with Japan, strengthening Taiwan's defense capabilities and executing "all-out deployment" of a National Missile Defense and a Theater Missile Defense that would include Taiwan. Such a position, it said, would bring improving Sino-US relations "back into peril," and would not only lead to a new Cold War, but possibly an "inevitable war" over Taiwan. The article said that Bush's statements have encouraged Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian to refuse the PRC's advances toward establishing a dialogue between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK's Participation in ARF

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "NORTH KOREA LIKELY TO SKIP ARF SECURITY MEETING IN SEOUL NEXT MONTH," Seoul, 10/17/00) reported that ROK officials said Monday that the DPRK is unlikely to attend a sub-panel meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on security matters. A three- day conference of the Inter-session Support Group on Confidence Building Measures is scheduled to open in Seoul November 1, attended by about 100 officials from 23 member countries of the ARF, a regional security dialogue body. Foreign Ministry officials said that the government had delivered an invitation to the DPRK, but that the DPRK recently responded that it would be difficult to attend the meeting because of its lack of preparations and budgetary problems. It is speculated, however, that the DPRK might have decided not to attend the ARF sub-panel meeting because of its reluctance to discuss security matters on the peninsula in a multilateral forum.

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2. ROK View on DPRK-US Ties

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "P'YANG FEARED TO SIDELINE INTER-KOREAN TIES," Seoul, 10/17/00) reported that with the pace of various dialogues between the two Koreas notably slowing down this month, concerns are growing about the DPRK's possible sidelining of inter-Korean issues while going all out to normalize ties with the US. The process of tracking down separated family members has been slower. Most officials and observers here singled out the latest diplomatic strides made by the DPRK and the US as one of the possible reasons for the DPRK's slowness. Officials pointed out that the DPRK does not have sufficient manpower to promote diplomatic exchanges with several partners at the same time.

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3. ROK-PRC Talks

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, "ZHU RONGJI TO VISIT SEOUL, HOLD SUMMIT TALKS WITH KIM TODAY," Seoul, 10/17/00) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji was to make a state visit to the ROK from Tuesday through Sunday at the invitation of President Kim Dae-jung. On Wednesday, Zhu will hold a summit meeting with President Kim Dae-jung at Chong Wa Dae, to discuss the situation surrounding the Korean peninsula and ways of promoting bilateral economic cooperation, Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon- young said. Kim is expected to highlight the importance of the reconnection of the cross-border railway.

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4. ROK Aid to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo ("SEVERANCE HOSPITAL DOCTORS TO OPERATE IN NK," Seoul, 10/17/00) reported that a team of ROK doctors will visit the DPRK and conduct operations on DPRK patients for the first time since the partition of the Korean peninsula. Shinchon Severance Hospital announced on Monday that a team led by Kim Sung-sun will visit Pyongyang Medical University and operate on DPRK patients suffering from cardiovascular related illnesses. The company plans to provide US$1 million worth of medical equipment to the DPRK.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. US-DPRK Joint Statement

People's Daily (Yan Feng, "US-DPRK JOINT STATEMENT: ESTABLISHING NEW RELATIONSHIP," Washington, 10/13/00, P6) reported that at the end of a visit to US by DPRK Vice-Marshal Cho Myong-rok, the US and DPRK issued a joint statement, declaring that two countries will strive to establish a new relationship free from past enmity. It said that the US and DPRK are determined to adopt measures to improve bilateral relations, in the wake of the change in the Korean Peninsula after the summit, and to promote peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. Both sides agreed to ease tension on the Peninsula through "Four-Party Talks" and other means, and replace the Korean Armistice Agreement with a peace agreement. The Statement pointed out that both sides reached consensus on the continuing efforts to eliminate distrust and maintain constructive dialogue. It reiterated that bilateral relations should be based on principles of mutual respect of sovereignty and non-interference of internal affairs. It said that both sides would keep regular bilateral and multilateral diplomatic contacts. Economic issues and terrorism are also covered in the Statement. The DPRK reiterated its continuing temporary halt of long-range missile tests on the precondition of the DPRK-US dialogue. The final paragraph of the statement raise the possibility of a visit by US President Bill Clinton's visit to the DPRK. It was agreed that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will visit the DPRK in the near future to convey Clinton's views directly to the DPRK leader Kim Jong-il and to prepare for a possible visit by Clinton, the statement said.

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2. Albright's Visit to DPRK

China Daily ("ALBRIGHT VISIT PRESAGES CLINTON TRIP TO DPRK," Tokyo, 10/13/00, P1) reported that according to Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will visit the DPRK soon to pave the way for a trip by US President Bill Clinton. "It was agreed that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will visit the DPRK in the near future in order to directly convey President Bill Clinton's view to Kim Jong-il ... and make arrangements for the President's visit," KCNA said. It gave no details as to the timing of a visit by Clinton.

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3. DPRK-Japanese Relations

China Daily ("ALBRIGHT VISIT PRESAGES CLINTON TRIP TO DPRK," Tokyo, 10/13/00, P1) reported that Japanese media said on October 12 that Japan is finalizing plans for a third round of talks with the DPRK aimed at establishing diplomatic relations. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa was quoted by Kyodo News Agency as saying that representatives of the two countries were expected to meet in Beijing for three days from October 30.

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4. Kim Dae-jung Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Xinhua News Agency ("KIM WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE," Oslo, 10/14/00) reported that the ROK President Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 13 for his drive for democracy and closer ties with the DPRK. Gunnar Berge, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, praised Kim's "work for democracy and human rights in the ROK and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with the DPRK in particular." The award, to be handed over at a ceremony in Oslo on December 10, comprises a gold medal, a diploma and a check for US$908,300.

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5. ROK View of DPRK-US Relations

People's Daily (Gao Haorong, "KIM DAE-JUNG SUPPORTS DPRK AND U.S. TO IMPROVE RELATIONS," Seoul, 10/13/00, P6) reported that responding to the agreement reached between the DPRK and US, ROK President Kim Dae-jung said on October 12 that he completely supports and welcomes this progress. He said that it is a new step forward after the June Common Declaration, which will contribute not only to the improvement of DPRK- ROK relations, but also to peace and stability in Northeast Asia and the world. Kim hoped that the DPRK-US bilateral agreement is effectively implemented.

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6. PRC View over US-DPRK Ties

China Daily ("CHINA HOPES US-DPRK TIES WILL IMPROVE," 10/13/00, P10) reported that at a regular news briefing, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhu Bangzao said that the PRC hopes the DPRK high-ranking official Cho Myong-rok's visit to the US can finally thaw relations between the two sides. Zhu highly praised the efforts by the two countries to patch up their relations. "We hope that Jo's visit can lead to a gradual normalization of bilateral relations between the two countries," Zhu said. The improvement of relations between the two sides is what the PRC Government has been longing to see for years, Zhu added.

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7. DPRK-Russian Relations

China Daily ("KIM JONG-IL GOING TO RUSSIA NEXT YEAR," Moscow, 10/14/00, P8) reported that a Russian Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il would visit Moscow at the beginning of next year. Russia's RIA News Agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov as saying, "It is probably realistic to say that this visit will take place in the first half of 2001." He said the exact date was under discussion. ITAR-TASS News Agency quoted what it called informed sources as saying that Kim's visit to Moscow would take place before a planned trip by Kim to the ROK.

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8. PRC-Japanese Relations

People's Daily (Liu Zhengxue, Yu Qing and Guan Kejiang, "ZHU RONGJI MEETS WITH HIS JAPANESE COUNTERPART," Tokyo, 10/14/00, P1) and China Daily (Gao Anming, "PREMIERS OPEN HOTLINE IN TOKYO," Tokyo, 10/14/00, P1) reported that visiting PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said on October 13 that statesmen of both countries should pay close attention to problems in bilateral ties and strive to solve them properly, so as to ensure the smooth development of Sino-Japanese relations. In his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, Zhu said that he hoped that the two countries could increase trust and dispel suspicion in the political area through his visit, and enhance and broaden mutually beneficial economic cooperation. As a sign of this, the two sides formally launched a telephone hotline between the two governments, and agreed to strengthen and expand dialogue on bilateral security issues. They agreed to increase military exchanges, and to realize visits of navy vessels to the other country. Zhu told his counterpart during their talks that the mainstream of bilateral relations is good. However, both old and new problems in bilateral exchanges have surfaced now and then, hampering the normal development of ties, Zhu was quoted by an PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying. "Statesmen of both countries should attach great importance to the problems, and handle them promptly and adequately so as not to let them disturb the overall friendly situation," Zhu said. Mori said that he agreed that learning from history and facing the future should be the principle for developing Japanese-PRC cooperation. He reiterated that it has been the Japanese Government's consistent policy to observe the 1972 Joint Statement, which serves as the foundation for developing bilateral relations.

People's Daily (Liu Zhengxue, Yu Qing and Guan Kejiang, "ZHU RONGJI TALKS WITH JAPANESE PEOPLE," 10/15/00, P2) and China Daily (An Ming, "ZHU'S TALK TOUCHES JAPANESE HEARTS," Tokyo, 10/16/00, P1) reported that on October 14 millions of TV viewers saw PRC Premier Zhu Rongji speak face- to-face with 100 ordinary Japanese from all walks of life, and answer their questions regarding bilateral ties, history, Taiwan, and economic prospects. When talking about Japan's aggression against China in the 1930s and 1940s, by far the most popular subject, Zhu stressed that history could never be forgotten. Covering up Japan's wartime past would be no good, but by drawing lessons from history the two nations could develop a concrete friendship for the future, he said. Zhu was asked when the PRC would stop demanding Japan to apologize for its wrongdoings in the past, and he said that Japan had never made a formal apology to the Chinese people in any official documents. He said, "I think this needs serious consideration from the Japanese side." On the Taiwan question, Zhu stressed that the PRC Government's policy of "one country, two systems and peaceful unification" meant that the existing system and way of life for Taiwanese people would be maintained.

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9. PRC Military Show

People's Liberation Army Daily (Gu Boliang, Wang Wenjie, "JIANG ZEMIN WATCHES PLA MILITARY TRAINING ACHIEVEMENTS SHOW," Beijing, 10/14/00, P1) and China Daily ("MANOEUVRES DISPLAY PLA ACHIEVEMENTS," 10/14/00, P1) reported that PRC President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Jiang Zemin, with other over 100 military generals, watched the largest show of PLA military training achievements since its 1964 grand-scale contest of military skills. The four-day military exercises are being carried out at four sites. The primary location is a military shooting range in a Beijing suburb. The other three sites are training bases in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, used by ground forces; in the Bohai Sea, for the navy; and in Northeast China, for strategic- missile troops. Participating in the exercises are dozens of units of the ground forces, navy, and air force from various PLA military area commands, the Second Artillery force, the PLA services and arms, troops attached to the headquarters, the group armies and other PLA units. More than 10,000 PLA soldiers are taking part in the exercises. Jiang emphasized that all PLA members should be aware of the hard work ahead, have a strong sense of political responsibility, and realize the historic mission they shoulder. Jiang called on the PLA units at all levels to incorporate high-tech achievements into their training. This is the fundamental way to ensure success in possible future wars, he said.

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10. PRC National Defence White Paper

The PRC Information Office of the State Council released a white paper on the PRC's policies on national defense and international security issues on October 16 ("CHINA'S NATIONAL DEFENCE IN 2000"). The white paper, about 25,000 Chinese characters long, includes a foreword and has six parts subtitled "The Security Situation," "National Defense Policy," "National Defense Construction Structure," "Armed Forces Building," "International Security Cooperation," and "Arms Control and Disarmament."

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